Neshoba Central wins in overtime
By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
Jan. 7, 2001
PHILADELPHIA For a team which led for three-fourths of regulation, Neshoba Central's Rockets were pretty darn lucky to even find themselves in overtime Saturday night.
But once in the extra period, the Rockets made sure they wouldn't trail again.
Neshoba got a bomb from Chris Owen with five seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to send the contest to overtime, then the Rockets outscored cross-town rival Philadelphia 14-0 in the extra period for a 76-62 win over the Tornadoes in the final night of the Neshoba round-robin tournament.
The three-game sweep of the tourney pushes Neshoba's boys to 12-6 on the season. Philadelphia fell to 12-8.
Saturday's other boys' game saw West Lauderdale win a thriller over Kosciusko, beating the Whippets 65-64.
Neshoba Central 76, Philadelphia 62, OT: With 9.8 seconds left in regulation, Neshoba Central called timeout with ball possession and set the play for Owen who was on the bench after committing a turnover just seconds before.
But the lanky pure shooter threw the ball in, got the pass back behind a pick and nailed the game-tying 3-pointer from well behind NBA range to send the contest to OT.
It did more than that. In a seesaw contest that was dripping with momentum and a big crowd, the shot pushed the adrenaline back in Neshoba's favor.
The result was the 14-0 run by the Rockets in overtime. How well did things go for Neshoba in OT? The closest Philly came to scoring was a pair of missed free throws at the 1:00 mark after Tornado Mandrako Jackson had fouled out; and after the game had been decided, the Rockets' Tawon Walker banked in another buzzer-beating 3-pointer from just across half-court.
It was Philly which was better early, as a red-hot bunch of Tornadoes ambushed Neshoba with 11 straight points to start the game. Philadelphia was up by as much as 12, but Neshoba reeled off a 16-0 spurt to take an 18-14 lead early in the second quarter.
The Rockets led by as many as nine before Philly rallied. Two baskets by Rashawn Hill one a 3-pointer and two Keith Houston free throws gave Philly its first lead since the opening quarter at 58-57 with 1:08 left.
The lead changed hands twice afterward, then Tellas Burnside hit two freebies with 14 seconds left to give Philly a 62-59 lead setting the stage for Owen's heroics.
Tawon Walker led Neshoba with a game-high 23 points, while Owen scored 18, Desmond Jones 16 and Tavares Walker 12.
Houston led Philadelphia with 16, while Hill scored 15, Burnside 13, Jackson 11 and Hunter Holley seven.
West Lauderdale 65, Kosciusko 64: The Knights outscored the Whippets 19-16 in the final quarter to take a come-from-behind win in a nail-biter.
West had trailed 30-27 at halftime and 48-46 heading into the final quarter of play.
Calvin Moore pumped in a game-high 29 points to lead the Knights. Boo Ramsey scored 13, Van Wilson added 11 and Karlos Lewis had nine points for West.
Tim Alford and Robert Harmon led Kosciusko by scoring 19 points apiece.